When Chelsea won the Champions League in May, many pundits suggested that Roman would rapidly lose interest in all things blue. But, with £65,500,000 being spent on transfers in the summer so far (with a couple of weeks of the transfer window still to go), Roman's interest in Chelsea is obviously alive and well.
Chelsea FC - 2012 / 2013 TransfersTo get a better idea of how Chelsea is going to do in the coming season, let's first take a look at our transfer dealings leading into the new campaign:
The other take out from our transfer dealings so far is that we have lost the two strikers who started (and helped us win) the Champions League final...and have not replaced them. This leaves us with just two forwards who, last season, scored 17 league goals between them. And, if the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different outcome, then RDM must be certifiable. Because Torres (who everybody likes, despite his lack of goals) will probably only get 10-15 goals next season if we're lucky. And Sturridge...well, he'll only end up with 10 or 12, due to the fact that none of his teammates want to pass to him (because he's a greedy, petulant, twat), and the fact that RDM doesn't rate him, and probably won't give him much game time (so expect him to be sold in January, if not in August). Which begs the question: where will the goals come from?
To answer that, let's have a look at the squad as it stands:
Chelsea FC - 2012 / 2013 Squad
All joking aside though, it's blatantly obvious that Roman needs to get out his cheque book again and pronto, if we're going to have any hope of winning back the league title (let alone defending the Champion's League).
Here's what I believe we need to do before August 31st.
Chelsea's Outstanding Transfers - In and Out.
In attack we need at least one new centre forward. Ideally a big target man with a great first touch, lightening speed over 10 yards, and a shot like a howitzer.
The paper talk throughout the summer has been that we're after Porto's Hulk. And, while I'm all for signing him to shore up the right of midfield with some much needed muscle (as all our signings so far are VERY SMALL in stature), Hulk is not a natural centre forward. And we're hardly short of options on the wings. So I'd rather we got another #9 to challenge / push Torres, than buying another winger. (Though both would of course be even better - especially when you consider the strikers Man Utd and Citeh have at their disposal!).
We also need to buy a right back who knows how to bomb down the wings (and cross the damn ball properly!) - but who also knows HOW TO DEFEND.
Aside from that I'd love us to sign a hard man to play in the Makelele role. Because I just don't rate Mikel (too prone to costly mistakes), Romeu (turning circle of a stranded oil tanker) or Essien (Chelsea legend, but two knee operations past his best).
If I had my way I would sell Romeau, Essien, Benayoun, Meireles, Sturridge and Malouda (I would personally pay the taxi fare to the airport for those last three!), and promote from our youth set-up to make up the numbers. Because I don't believe any of those players mentioned are good enough for us. But...we all know that's not going to happen!
Chelsea FC - Robbie De Matteo's Preferred Starting 11Below is what I believe to be RDM's preferred starting 11, based on the teams he's selected in pre-season, (and the players currently at his disposal as at August 18, 2012).
Note: this is not my preferred starting 11, as I'd have Cahill in ahead of Luiz (who'd be on the bench), Mata in the hole behind Torres (Oscar on the Bench), Ramieres in Mata's position on the right, and Mikel alongside Lamps in the centre of midfield.
The other thing to keep in mind is that I expect Man Utd and Citeh to get off to a FLYING START. And it's imperative that we keep within a couple of games of them, to have any chance of mounting an attack on the title come May. And as the old saying goes: nothing breeds a winning mentality like actually winning games!
Brian M Logan